I can’t remember at this stage how many months ago it was that we first started discussing ideas for the event that would eventually end up being ‘20/30 Vision’. Initially I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to take on organising as it was a particularly busy in time in work. Over time it made sense to me to take it on, and I’m delighted that I did.

A large group of us sat in the IAPI boardroom one lunchtime, spit balling ideas, and the notion of an event about the ‘future’ and ‘change’ kept coming up. Personally, I like a bit of Sci-Fi, and I like applying future thinking to my job and personal life as much as possible. My interest was piqued.

I lobbied for the topic of the event to be the ‘future of advertising’ in some shape – it just seemed cool and something a lot of people would want to hear about. I found myself being so passionate about the topic that I just suddenly couldn’t see myself not helping organise it in a greater capacity.

We had a lot of toing and froing on speakers (including a last minute cancellation on the night!!) and the format of the evening but we finally settled on something that would work. 9th October was the big night for the event, now called: 20/30 Vision – where will advertising be in 15 years? I was MC for the evening, Josh Whelan from Arnotts spoke about the future of the retail sector, and Jonathan McCrea from Newstalk’s Futureproof spoke about some cool (if sometimes scary) technologies that are going to change the world in the next 15 years.

Technology in the retail marketplace will empower consumers like never before while retail shops will seek to maximise the utility of every corner and inch of the shop floor. Neuromarketing will allow marketers to measure physiological responses to micro stimuli in advertising. Virtual reality will be so authentic we’ll need to teach our kids the difference between ‘real’ and ‘virtual’. These are just some of the topics discussed on the night.

We had a great Q&A afterwards as well, tackling a lot of the ethical and practical questions the night’s topics raised. The burning question on many people’s mind on the night was: ‘If 3D printing becomes pervasive, and we can print everything from shoes to phones just by downloading the specs, then where does the brand and brand experience fit in?’ Overall the evening felt like a great success with a lot of conversation on Twitter (#2030Vision) and chatter on the night.

I’m delighted to have been a part of it and that the audience enjoyed themselves. Many big thanks to the speakers, Josh and Jonathan, the gang that helped organise (Conor Mangan, Caroline Curtis, Katie Rochford, Louise McCabe, Juliet McCutcheon), and the great folks at IAPI, Aisling and Toni. On to the next one!